NORWOOD has fallen to reigning Premiers Glenelg in a thriller at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon.
After a long-awaited return, the Redlegs fielded four debutants which included former Adelaide Crow Richard Douglas, Tom Pinyon, Emmanuel Irra and Nik Rokahr.
Despite Billy Stretch kicking the opening goal of the contest, the Redlegs looked dangerous going forward as newly appointed skipper Matthew Panos booted Norwood’s first from 15 metres out before Matthew Nunn broke away from stoppage to finish from 30 metres out to draw the game level at 12 points apiece.
The Redlegs continued to build momentum as Mitch Grigg and Matthew Panos started to find plenty of the ball as Norwood’s inside 50 count started to increase.
As Nik Rokahr drove the ball inside 50, Douglas managed to read the ball and snap expertly onto his right to kick Norwood’s third.
Luke Surman showed his worth two minutes later as he booted two majors within three minutes to give Norwood a 22-point lead at the first break.
Norwood led by as much as 27-points early in the second term, before the Tigers clawed their way back as they held the Redlegs goalless in the third term.
Norwood went without a goal for more than a quarter before its Mount Compass recruit Tom Pinyon made the most of a rare defensive error from Glenelg to tie up the scores four minutes into the last term.
Bays forward Liam McBean, one of his side’s most influential players, then swooped on a loose ball to turn and snap a goal along the ground in one action.
It only served to spark the Redlegs into conjuring a significant surge in the fourth quarter as it then scored the next four behinds in succession, forcing new Bays skipper Max Proud into several spoils on the last line of defence.
But Norwood’s spirit was emphasised by Cole Gerloff nailing a difficult set shot from 35m before new captain Matt Panos made his presence felt by snapping truly from 30m to restore the lead on the stroke of time-on.
Within two minutes, Glenelg snatched back the lead when Magarey Medallist Luke Partington continued his strong finish to the match by marking an errant kick from Norwood’s defence just inside the 50m arc.
Partington made no mistake giving Glenelg a three-point lead heading into the final few minutes.
Despite Norwood throwing everything at their opposition with countless inside 50 entries, Glenelg’s defence stood tall repelling everything the Legs had to offer.
Glenelg remained strong to claim a three-point victory.
Norwood’s old firm of Panos (24 disposals, five tackles and nine clearances) and Mitch Grigg (23 disposals and seven tackles) led the way along with Matthew Nunn (27 disposals and six tackles), who kicked a nice goal on the run in the first-quarter flurry.
Douglas finished with 20 disposals to go with his goal while Norwood ruckman Sam Baulderstone got first touch in the centre square to amass 41 hit outs.
Norwood will now switch their attention to next Saturday’s clash against North Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.
NORWOOD: 5.4 7.7 7.8 10.13 (73)
GLENELG: 2.0 5.3 8.8 11.10 (76)
GOALS: Surman 2, Pinyon 2, Panos 2, Douglas, Gerloff, Nunn, Bampton
BEST: Nunn, Panos, Z.Richards, Johnston, Pinyon, Rokahr